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Government’s failure to set aside new NHS cash for public health is another kick in the teeth for Cumbria – MP

June 26, 2018 4:46 PM

Local MP Tim Farron has criticised the Government's decision not to increase money for public health as part of their recent announcement on health spending.

Over the next financial year, Cumbria is set to receive just £37 per head in Public Health Allocations, compared to the national average of £64.

The figure, which is £20 less per head than what Lancashire receives, is also a stark contrast to the hefty sums received by a number of local authorities across London, with Westminster receiving £123 per head, while that figure is £131 in Kensington & Chelsea, and £179 per head in the City of London.

Back in 2015, the coalition Government made a commitment to spend £25m a year on Cumbria's public health, but cuts to spending since then mean Cumbria only gets £18m a year.

Tim recently met with Colin Cox, the Director of Public Health at Cumbria County Council, to discuss the issues that the county faces as a result of underfunding.

Due to the serious underfunding, Colin told Tim that Cumbria is only able to spend £75,000 a year on vital tier 1 preventative mental health for young people, and only £200,000 a year on tackling smoking - just one tenth of what neighbouring county Lancashire spends.

Tim said: "More money for the NHS is obviously to be welcomed, but it's incredibly disappointing to see no new money for social care or for public health.

"This is another big kick in the teeth for local people.

"The Government have failed to keep their commitment to spend £25m on our public health.

"But the result of this broken promise will be felt by the most vulnerable in Cumbria - public health money is absolutely vital for preventing mental health issues.

"For their sake, the Government must think again and give our county a fair deal."